It’s International Women’s Day, so let’s recognize the achievements of our very own.
Our beloved Kenya is full of men and women who inspire us every day but today we get to recognize the Kenyan women that are a force to be reckoned with. We want to recognize and celebrate their achievements, that motivate us to be a beam of hope to those around us.
The 10 Kenyan women we have highlighted are:
1. The First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta
Our First Lady is an inspiration in so many ways, she is the only First Lady who has run a world marathon. She then went on to initiate the First Lady’s Half Marathon (FLHM) campaign, which helped raise awareness on the works of the Beyond Zero Organisation. An organization that is set on addressing the social concerns surrounding maternal and child mortality as well as HIV/AIDS.
The marathon galvanized the general public, the private sector, international organizations and media towards the goal of improving access to quality health care for expectant mothers, children, and marginalized groups. Margaret Kenyatta continues to be a patron and supporter of social concerns.
2. The Late Prof. Wangari Maathai
The Late Prof. Wangari Maathai was internationally renowned Kenyan environmental political activist and Nobel laureate. She was the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree and attain the position of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy and an associate professor in 1976 and 1977.
The work The Late Professor began through the foundation The Green Belt Movement, which still continues. The aim of the foundation is to organize women in rural Kenya to plant trees, combat deforestation, restore their main source of fuel for cooking, generate income, and stop soil erosion. The Late Professor continues to inspire us to be women who are not afraid to go for what we believe in and challenge what is not right.
3. Tabitha Karanja & Anerlisa Muigai
Tabitha Karanja is the founder and current Chief Executive Officer of Keroche Breweries, which is the first large brewery in Kenya owned by a non-multinational company. Her daughter, Anerlisa Muigai has also followed in her mum’s footsteps by running her own business venture the Executive Water.Tabitha teaches us that in life learn to lead by example and Anerlisa shows us that for one to have their own level of success it calls for us not to stand on the sideline but to emulate the good we learn in others.
So we should all ask ourselves the question who is our role model, our mentor, for we are more than likely to act just as they have but this is only so if we chose to act on what we plan and hope to achieve.
4. Caroline Mutoko
Caroline Mutoko has mainly been known for her radio presenting role on Kiss 100, but over the last couple of years she has now transitioned fully into the digital world and now graces our screens through the YouTube Platform.
Caroline reminds us that to continue succeeding you must be willing, first to adapt how you do things to suit the trends and demands of the society. She moved to a digital platform because globally marking your spot in the digital sphere is the right way to go and not to mention by doing so her leverage increases for a lot more people can connect with what she is sharing and doing through the YouTube Platform. Second, it is your duty to bless the world with your innate gift and the various wise experiences that Caroline chooses to share with us can often act like the matchstick one needs to get going with one’s dreams.
5. Ajuma Nasenyana
Ajuma Nasenyana is by far one of the most famous Kenyan models we have, she has worked with Victoria’s Secret and various other designers. She has graced so many runways and covers of magazines. Not one to stop there, she founded City Models Africa formally known as Ajuma Limited, it is an international talent agency that is intent on nurturing Kenyan models to find their mark on the international platform. She often runs workshops training models who have signed up to her agency and passing on the knowledge that continues to make her one of the most sought-after models in the world.
Ajuma reminds us that if your good at something, make time to help others to also join you on that same platform of success. As the saying goes the table is long and we can all have a fair chance to seat at the table. However, we often need help and guidance to give us the confidence we need to grow and succeed just like our predecessors did, and through her agency, Ajuma is making it a likely possibility for Kenyan models who are signed up.
6. Lupita Nyong’o
Lupita Nyong’o was truly born to be a star, in 2013 she became the first Kenyan to ever win an Oscar. She has continued to grow in stardom and with her most recent successful film, Black Panther, she is definitely onto more wins in the coming future.
Lupita reminds us that everything and its time, her acting career began way before her Oscar win but the steps she had been taking till then led to her win. So in life have your bigger goals in mind but don’t forget that it is the steps you take now that will lead you to get more wins.
7. This Is Ess (Sharon Mundia)
Sharon Mundia came into the scene as This Is Ess, she won us all with her sweet, charming personality and her beautiful smile too. Her YouTube Channel and blog catapulted her to great heights, and it was inevitable that she then went on to work at Capital FM and also got to partner with various companies like Samsung.
She is one of the few Kenyan digital stars that showed us that it is possible with consistency and great content produced through blogging and vlogging, you can have substantial income. We live in a world where it calls for us to be limitless, so we can enjoy the opportunities it has to offer. Sharon clearly showed us that what is achieved by other stars in the west similar to her can also be achieved in Kenya too.
8. Muthoni Drummer Queen (MDQ)
Muthoni Drummer Queen also known as MDQ is a star I have seen grow into a superstar, gone are the days when she used to perform with her band in various bars in westy, for her stage is bigger now. She is the founder of Blankets and Wines, which gave Kenyans the opportunity to go watch artists and bands perform while having a picnic and drinking wine. This great concept led to the birth of African Nouveau which is a three-day concert, where you get to see a range of artists from across Africa perform and you can also buy clothes, jewellery and preservatives from various Kenyan owned businesses.
MDQ continues to remind us that don’t wait for an opportunity to be given to you, create the opportunity for yourself and others to can enjoy the fruits of your labour. Also, learn from her and be business savvy in your ideas, so as well as you making money you’re giving others the chance to do the same too.
9. Kangai Mwiti
Kangai Mwiti founder of Bellesa Africa is not only of the best Makeup Artists Kenya has to offer but she is also one of the biggest Kenyan Youtube Stars with over 100,000 subscribers. Her Youtube platform shows viewers how one can beautifully transform with makeup and the levels of creativity can be endless.
She is someone who reminds us that it takes time to perfect art and continual practice in what your good at will lead to the recognition you deserve.
10. Thandiwe Muriu
Thandiwe Muriu is a female photographer that has certainly marked her spot in what can often feel like a man’s world. She is an extremely talented individual who as worn awards and in 2015 Radio Africa Group recognized her as one of the top 10 photographers in Kenya. She has worked with various brands like Safaricom and her work has been exhibited in various parts of the world like Canada, South Africa, and Arabia.
Thandiwe reminds us that we mustn’t shy away from what we love and what we are good at despite whether it is predominantly a man’s world. We must be beams of hope and light to young women who see us doing it and succeeding. Reminding them that if their path calls for them to go against the grain so to speak that they can indeed do so because others have done it too and showed them that it is indeed a possibility.
These Kenyan women show us that in life aim to be the game changer, and the success you seek will be yours for the taking.
So to make sure 2018 continues to look fabulous here is why it’s important to get your plan together.